Classic Car Catalogue
Przedsiębiorstwo Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA) od 1955 roku produkuje w Cordobie na rynek argentyński terenowego, amerykańskiego Jeepa. Wykorzystując oprzyrządowanie Kaisera, Henry J. Kaiser uruchomił w Buenos Aires produkcję Kaisera Carabella bazującego na amerykańskim modelu Manhattan. Samochód ma 6 cylindrowy silnik dolnozaworowy o pojemności 3703 cm³ i mocy 115 KM. Fabryka Kaisera znajduje się także w Brazylii, gdzie powstają samochody marki Willys Aero.
On January 19, 1955 Kaiser and the government of Argentina signed an agreement to permit Kaiser to manufacture automobiles and trucks in Argentina. In February, Kaiser created a wholly owned subsidiary named Kaiser Automotores, the holding company which in turn owned part of the newly created Industrias Kaiser Argentina S.A. (IKA), the manufacturing and marketing arm. Other partners in IKA included the government-owned vehicle manufacturer Industrias Aeronáuticas y Mecánicas del Estado (IAME) and private investors. In August Kaiser applied for and received an import license to bring in 1,021 completed cars, manufacturing equipment and spare parts from the US. Groundbreaking for the new factory was in March 1955 with the first Jeep vehicle rolling out of the plant on 27 April 1956.
The new Argentine factory was built in the city of Santa Isabel in the province of Córdoba with the Kaiser Manhattan being rechristened the Kaiser Carabela — named after a type of Spanish sailing ship. The US vinyl and fabric interior was replaced with a more rugged leather interior, the speedometer was recalibrated in kilometers with the temperature, oil, and fuel gauge annotations in Spanish and the spring rates were increased to accommodate unimproved Argentine roads. Oddly, the dash castings with annotations for vent, heater, headlight and wiper controls remained in English. No consideration was given to offering an automatic transmission due to the anticipated difficulty in obtaining service in remote towns. Production started on the Carabela on 25 July 1958 and, in the remaining months of that year, 2,158 cars were built. IKA was also building Jeep vehicles at the Cordoba factory and assembled 20,454 Jeeps in 1958 alone. The combined Carabela-Jeep production of 22,612 units was 81% of all vehicles manufactured in Argentina in 1958 with the only competition being the state-run utility vehicle manufacturer IAME.